Submitted By: someone
Answered: November 15, 2017 9:12 pm

We sold two homes in one year. We didn’t use the home sale exclusion for one of the sales, so does that mean that we can claim the exclusion for gain on the other?

The home sale exclusion lets you omit from gross income up to $250,000 of gain ($500,000 on a joint return), but only if you meet certain conditions:

  • You must have owned and use the home as your principal residence for a period aggregating two of the five years preceding the date of sale. You are permitted to meet these two separate tests (ownership and use) using different two-year periods. The five-year period can be suspended for certain government employees (e.g., those in uniform, foreign service, or intelligence).
  • You didn’t claim a home sale exclusion for a sale that was within two years of the date of your current sale.
Tax Glossary


An amount taken from income as a prepayment of an individual’s tax liability for the year. In the case of wages, the employer withholds part of every wage payment. Backup withholding from dividend or interest income is required if you do not provide the payer with a correct taxpayer identification number. Withholding on pensions and IRAs is automatic unless you elect to waive withholding.

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